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New Program Launches During American Heart Month to Help Children Recovering From Heart Transplant Surgery

Enduring Hearts, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to funding research that improves longevity and quality of life for children living with a new heart, launched the Huggable Pillows Program in partnership with Paragonix Technologies to provide emotional support to children recovering from heart transplant surgery.

Congenital heart defects (CHD) are the number one birth defect impacting 40,000 children annually and the primary reason children will need a heart transplant. Being admitted to a hospital for heart transplant surgery is terrifying for a child. To support hundreds of families going through this experience, red heart-shaped pillows will be distributed to children at 25 transplant centers across the U.S. throughout February to coincide with American Heart Month.

According to Organ Procurement & Transplant Network, each year children will need a heart transplant. One in four of those transplants will fail due to organ
Unfortunately, transplants are not a cure, lasting on average 17 years. Our organization is dedicated to raising funds for research to help pediatric patients live longer and improve the quality of their life,” said Carolyn Salvador, CEO, Enduring Hearts. “The Huggable Pillows Program with Paragonix is our way of continuing to support families across the country.”

“We are humbled to be part of an initiative that is providing support and comfort to children by participating in The Huggable Pillows Program,” said Lisa Anderson, Ph.D., CEO, Paragonix Technologies. “A small act, like donating a pillow to a child who has received a heart transplant, is a crucial part of providing comfort to children who need it most.”

Medically ill youth frequently experience anxiety, depression or posttraumatic stress and are at increased risk for emotional and behavioral problems. These symptoms can affect medical adherence, which is a significant challenge to posttransplant survival.


Enduring Hearts has deployed over $6.4 million in research funding aimed at fostering the development of new technologies, creating new guidelines for post-transplant care, improving patients’ compliance with medications, and developing less invasive procedures to combat organ rejection. Enduring Hearts offers multiple family programs to help make its heart families’ transplant journey easier.

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